north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     If walls could talk, one would want to listen to the stately Barker House in Edenton. Built in 1782 by Thomas and Penelope Barker, the house today is the headquarters of the Edenton Historical Commission. It has undergone many changes since its construction. From its original four rooms, it now boasts three floors and eight fireplaces. Its architectural design is a mixture of Federal, Georgian, and Greek Revival styles. Moved in 1952 from the 200 block of South Broad Street to the town’s waterfront, the house commands a beautiful panoramic view of the bay.

     Penelope Barker is best known for her role in organizing the revolt of fifty-one local women which has come to be called the Edenton Tea Party. She was born in Edenton to Samuel and Elizabeth Blount Padgett. She outlived three husbands and inherited property from all of them. She bore three children with her last husband, Thomas Barker, but all died in infancy. They lived in the house for fourteen years, until 1796.

     Later owners of the house included the family of Augustus and Susan Moore, and their descendants, who lived there from 1832 to 1952. The Moores were responsible for enlarging the house and adding the piazza. Today the house is open for public tours.

Jennifer Ravi, Notable North Carolina Women (1992)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 95-97—sketches of Thomas and Penelope Barker by Michael G. Martin Jr.
Catherine W. Bishir and Michael T. Southern, Historic Architecture of Eastern North Carolina (1996)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

Barker House

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources